It can be very disheartening to come back home to utility problems after a relaxing vacation. If a pipe bursts or collapses, water can flood the home. This will result in high water bills or structural damage.
It is better to save your wallet from unnecessary costs by taking a few precautions. Leave your home in an optimum condition to reduce chances of utility problems.
The precautions outlined in this article are dependent on how long your vacation lasts. Use the following checklist to secure the utilities in your home to prevent any incidents while you are away.
Check the Main Water Supply
Most people recommend switching off the main water supply if you are going to be away from your home. However, plumbers in Houston, TX suggest evaluating your water needs before taking this step.
If you are going away for a while, you may need to leave the sprinkler system running. If you want your plants to be watered you can’t turn the main water valve off. Rather than turning off the water valve you can switch off some appliances to reduce water usage. You can turn off the water for the following fixtures and machines:
- Outside faucet
- Ice maker
- Clothes washer
- Hot tub
- Swamp Coolers
- Pool pump
Switching off these appliances will reduce chances of leaks and water waste. If there are no appliances you may want to leave running then turn off the water valve. This will prevent a lot of potential problems.
For example, a pipe fitting comes loose or a pipe collapses. If there is no water running through the plumbing system, you can prevent potential structural damage. Flooding of water can create cracks in the floor or cause clay foundations to shift due to increase in moisture. It helps save money and conserves water. You can also avoid water theft if you switch off the water supply.
The water valve is usually situated in the basement. It can either be in the shape of a wheel or lever. After switching it the main water valve off, make sure to check if you did it correctly by running the tap for a while.
Switch Off the Water Heater
Leaving the water heater on will increase water and energy bills. If you switch the water heater off before leaving you can avoid these unnecessary costs. It is also environmentally friendly and reduces needless waste of resources.
There is a dial at the base of the appliance which turns the appliance off. Some new water heaters also come with a vacation mode which utilizes low energy and water. This can be a good option if you are only leaving for a few days and don’t want to deal with the hassle of turning it on again.
Make sure to check for leaks before leaving. The bottom of the water heater, hot water outlets, and cold water inlets can sometimes develop leaks. This can be a huge water waste and increase water bills. Call a plumber in Houston, TX if you think your water heater is leaking before you leave for vacation.
Check the Pool Pumps
Nobody wants to come back home to a smelly, dirty pool. Your pool can develop algae if you switch off the pool pump before leaving. Stagnant water attracts algae which can be really hard to clean and smell really unpleasant.
To clean the pool, you will have to drain the water completely and scrub every surface properly. This is a very time-consuming process.
Plumbers in Houston, TX recommend leaving the pool pump on to avoid algae. Some pool pumps come with low settings that can keep your pool clean. These low settings consume less power that keeps them cost-effective. You can ask a local plumber in Houston, TX to install these new pool pumps if you don’t have them.
If you are leaving for a long period ask a friend to switch the pool pump on for a few minutes every week. This will reduce the risk of high energy bills by leaving the pool pump on.
Running the Pipes
Make sure to get a friend or neighbor to switch the water valve on a few times while you’re away. Show them where to switch the water valve on and off from.
Running water through the pipes is important if you want to prevent sewer gases from entering them. Such gases can cause an unpleasant smell and deterioration of pipes. The plumbing system may also begin to crack or collapse from lack of use.
Take Care of Leaks
There is a steady rise in water consumption on this planet despite lack of resources. Leaky faucets remain one of the biggest water wastes in homes. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that one trillion gallons of waterare wasted per year from such leaks in America alone. You can also save money on water bills by 10% if there are no leaky faucets in your home.
This is why it is important to make sure there are no such leaks in your home before leaving for vacation. Check every faucet in your home to make sure it is closed tightly. Most people forget to check toilets and flush tanks. To check the flush tanks, just pour a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If the color leaks into the toilet, you need to call a plumber in Houston, TX. Do this at once to reduce water waste and costs.
Schedule an Inspection
Call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Rosenberg before you leave for a vacation. They can ascertain the plumbing situation in your house. They can fix any leaks or loose pipes which will eliminate chances of utility incidents. They can also guide you on whether you need to take some precautions or not. If you are leaving for a longer period, schedule an inspection for when you return as well.